Apart from the obvious feel good factor and warm fuzzy feeling, volunteering can have a number of key benefits for your career. You have the opportunity to donate your time and efforts towards a worthy cause and positively impact your local community. You might help the environment or improve the lives of people less fortunate than yourself and all the while you will be learning new skills and enhancing your C.V. You will learn practical skills and make yourself a desirable prospect for potential employers.
Charities recruit hundreds of thousands of volunteers throughout the U.K. every year. Consequently the opportunities available are as rewarding as they are varied. From shop assistants to sports coaches there is ample opportunity for you to learn new skills and hone in on a career that interests and suits you. As you work and immerse yourself in the local community you will meet lots of new people and improve your self- confidence in the process. People skills are integral to any career or job interview process and so developing that skill whilst helping others is a no-brainer!
Students are encouraged to volunteer as much as possible to demonstrate their practical skills alongside their academic achievements. RAG is a student run charitable organisation active at most universities in the UK. Alongside traditional fundraising RAG often runs many sponsored challenges. For example, as a part of the ‘Jailbreak’ campaign students we try and get as far away from campus and back again within a set amount of time without using any money. As fun as it sounds getting involved in such a campaign would demonstrate a keen level of initiative and personal skills- both are very attractive to employers!
Volunteering in your local Oxfam or Cancer Research U.K. shop will help you develop and build on the practical skills that are associated with customer facing rolls. So too will you be able to show employers your acute understanding of administration software such as Excel and Microsoft Office. To volunteer at your local Oxfam fill out this application form and then pop into your local shop and for Cancer Research apply online here. There are hundreds and hundreds of other causes that are well worth your time, whether it be fundraising, counseling, listening or befriending.
The intangible benefits of volunteering at a hospital are endless. The volunteer will benefit from a vastly improved sense of self worth and pride that they can then take into the workplace. In a hospital you directly interact with the people you are benefiting and so you can really appreciate the difference you make. Moreover the administrative aspects of clerical duties will show employers you are well versed in practical skills. To volunteer at a hospital, contact your local hospital or volunteer center to inquire about available positions. Once you have a list of the positions, evaluate them to determine which area you are passionate about. You may prefer to work with children, elderly, adolescent or adult patients.
All over the UK volunteers give up their time to offer sporting opportunities in their local community. You don’t need to be a qualified coach to make a difference. Sport England, Volunteers Scotland, Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland and Sport Wales all have comprehensive websites detailing how to get started close to where you live.